Human Needs: A Literature Review and Cognitive Life Span Model
Interim rept. Oct 1991-Mar 1992,
NAVY PERSONNEL RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT CENTER SAN DIEGO CA
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This paper reviews major theories of human needs and proposes a cognitive life span model, which may be applicable to Navy quality of life programs and policies. Five major needs theories are reviewed. Maslows Hierarchy of Needs, Alderfers ERG Theory, Murrays Manifest Needs Theory, McClelland and Atkinsons Need for Achievement Theory, and Herzbergs Two-factor Theory. It is concluded that no single theory of human needs can adequately account for the full range of human motivations and behaviors. Furthermore, needs theories are only one class of theories of motivation. A cognitive life span model of needs is proposed and its applicability to Navy settings described. The cognitive life span model proposes that needs are abstract categories or schemas by which people organize their perceptions related to physiological and psychological states. The life span developmental perspective suggests that needs also change in importance throughout the life span. Given the lock-step nature of career progression in the Navy, the model may prove useful in applications to Navy settings.